Thursday, December 15, 2011

How to take "Glowing" Christmas Pictures

 One of my favorite things about Christmas is the lights. On houses, trees and of course in your pictures. Who doesn't love a kid all wrapped up in lights? These pictures are easy and perfect for Christmas display.

In order to take these photos you will need:
A camera that will allow you to control the shutter speed, flash
Christmas lights
cute kid

Set your kid up with the lights lit up around them. I only used one strand of lights, but you could use multiple if you want to. Prepare yourself with lots of candy and bribes. One of the keys to these photographs are low light and a slow shutter speed so if your subject moves a lot it will cause blurry photos.

Next turn off your flash. You don't want your flash to add the light you are trying to avoid. Below is a photo done with the flash so you can see how while it makes the image brighter it takes away that Christmas look you are going for.
As I was shooting these photos the lights in my house were off, just some window light coming in. After you are all set up start experimenting with shutter speeds. The slower your shutter speed the more light there will be but the more chance you have for blur. I have included the shutter speeds with the photos so you can see the differences.
 The above photo was shot with a 1/30 shutter speed.
  The above photo was shot with a 1/13 shutter speed.
 The above photo was shot with a 1/6 shutter speed.

The 1/6 shot was pretty much just what I was personally looking for, but you can go lower if you so desire.

Other tips for lightening up the photo:
Put your kids in light colored clothes, notice how much the white dress stands out.
Shoot the pictures against a light back drop. I had a particular vision in mind when I shot against the black but that vision aside if I was doing this again I would shoot against white.

Have fun making your pictures "Glow"!


Melissa G. said...

These are so neat!

My Mercurial Nature said...

I wish I could figure out how to do this with my camera!!

becca said...

how cool

Aurelia (A Pretty Life) said...

Wow what's a great idea. Best wishes from Budapest.

Beth said...

Great tips- thanks! :)